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When you become pregnant, endless information is thrown at you regarding what foods you can and can’t eat for the next 9 months. It can be very difficult to work out what is scientifically accurate and what has just been passed down from older relatives.
In this episode, Brigid is talking about safe food in pregnancy with food and safety expert, Gary Kennedy. Gary has worked with more than 1000 companies and government departments to ensure their food handling is safe and complies with health standards.
In this festive time of year, we’re all going to gatherings where food will be laid out on tables or at the barbeque in the backyard for an extended amount of time. We wanted to talk to an expert to keep you safe during the holidays and ensure your pregnancy is healthy.
We discuss how to store food safely, how to choose safer food options when you’re out and about, what food is best to avoid and why, and what the safer options are for you at Christmas.
This episode is absolutely jam packed full of useful and insightful information. Gary is a wealth of knowledge and we’re very grateful to have him on the show today to help educate pregnant women to make safer food choices.
[2:33]: Gary talks about the risk of Listeria that causes food poisoning and the risk in pregnancy. It can cause a miscarriage or for a full term baby to be born with symptoms of bacterial meningitis.
[3:30]: This bug is a big issue in ready to eat foods that have been sitting around for a while at room temperature.
[4:25]: Gary shares how Listeria wasn’t known for causing food poisoning when he went to university in the 80s. He talks about a case where Listeria caused people to die and women to miscarry their babies.
[6:03]: The immunocompromised are affected, these include the under 5s, people above 70, people who have a medical condition and pregnant women.
[6:56]: Salmonella is another bug that lives in the intestinal tracts of birds. For older people and young children, it can be life threatening.
[7:54]: If you’re unwell or have young children, you should never be eating raw eggs due to the risk of salmonella. You can buy prepasteurised egg pulp to avoid this.
[8:45]: If you cook your eggs intact, the white part has to be fully set and the yolk can still be runny.
[10:02]: If the egg is all mixed together, you have to cook it the whole way through, is steaming hot and has no liquid left in it.
[10:28]: Aioli and mayonnaise are made with runny eggs. If the recipe has vinegar or lemon juice in it, it’s safe.
[11:17]: Someone died in a Melbourne Cup function in Brisbane from the mayonnaise. There are 20,000+ cases of salmonella poisoning each year in Australia.
[12:15]: Salmonella Typhimurium is typhoid fever.
[13:00]: Pavlova is full of sugar which doesn’t let anything grow. If the pavlova has risen up and formed a shell and set, it was hot enough to kill the Salmonella. If the pavlova collapses because it’s wet in the centre, don’t eat it.
[13:53]: Creme brulee must have the custard cooked through to the centre otherwise it could have Salmonella.
[14:17]: We’re lucky in Australia to have relatively safe E.Coli’s. In America, they have one of the dangerous strains that can kill you. If something is minced (a sausage, a rissole, a hamburger patty) cook it through to the middle.
[16:30]: Gary explains where to put your groceries away in the fridge. Keep meat in a vacuum sealed container. If you cook your eggs, it really doesn’t matter if they are stored in the fridge or pantry, however if they’re stored on a shelf in the fridge the quality will keep longer.
[19:15]: The meat juices should never drip on anything in the fridge. The blood can contain these bugs.
[19:38]: Don’t wash chicken. All your doing is washing blood and Salmonella into your kitchen.
[20:51]: Australia and New Zealand are the only two countries on earth that don’t have the parasitic worms found in raw pork. Cooking pork thoroughly through to the centre kills these worms in other countries.
[22:31]: A prepacked salad from the local supermarket is safe.
[24:09]: The chemicals used to wash the food is safe for pregnant women. The good bacteria is washed off as well, however you would already have this bacteria in your gut anyway.
[25:41]: If you’re buying from a farmers market or growing at home, consider if you’re using dynamic lifter as a fertiliser, cow manure, horse manure, or pig manure as you’re going to put Salmonella or E.Coli on the vegetables. If it’s growing in the dirt, it contains Listeria. You must wash all fruit and veg to get it off. Running it under a tap and wiping it with a tea towel will get 99.9% off. Gary shares more sanitising procedures.
[28:23]: Join us for our free masterclass where we talk about the most common mistakes people make when growing their baby and the four step method designed to help you feel confident in your pregnancy.
[29:30]: You have 2 hours out of the fridge for chilled products such as cheese, salads etc. After 4 hours, it’s considered unsafe to eat and must be thrown away.
[31:00]: You shouldn’t put piping hot food directly into the fridge. Let the food sit out for 20-30 minutes until it’s not steaming hot before putting it in. If precooked food is sitting around warm for more than 2 hours, spores can start to germinate.
[33:14]: Stock can bubble for a long time on the stove. We cook up to 75, Listeria is the hardest bug to kill and it is killed at this temperature. All other bugs are killed too.
[35:42]: Gary recommends if you’re pregnant and really want to be safe, go to the big fast food chains. They have very strict rules in place for food safety.
[37:10]: Sushi is a pretty safe food if it’s done properly. Japan has a relatively low risk.
[38:10]: Almost all of the cheeses in Australia are pasteurised. If it hasn’t been pasteurised, it has to have another process to kill the Listeria.
[39:50]: Pasteurising isn’t 100% fool proof. 3 people died from a Listeria outbreak in brie and camembert from a facility in Victoria. Dirt got onto the outside of the cheese. There’s nothing in cheese that stops Listeria from growing.
[41:24]: If you’re going to a friend’s place for lunch, you have 2 hours to get there and put it into their fridge, or use a freezer brick.
[42:53]: If the temperature is between 5 and 60 degrees, some of the bugs will start growing rapidly.
[43:39]: Even sushi that doesn’t contain fish should be avoided by pregnant women. No part of the food industry is perfect.
[44:34]: The rules around heavy metals in fish are very strict in Australia. When canned fish comes from overseas, customs will take samples and test for heavy metals.
[46:54]: Pick the vegetarian fish over the carnivorous fish. Try to avoid eating shellfish in pregnancy due to shellfish living in the mud where all of these bugs live.
[50:11]: The inspection level in seafood is higher than in any other industry.
[51:44]: If you buy food from a reputable brand, you’re generally going to be safe.
[52:38]: The most likely place to get food poisoning is eating in your own home. Wash hands thoroughly before preparing food.
[53:30]: Don’t work in the kitchen if you’re sick.
[54:13]: Don’t leave food sitting open. Use gladwrap, alfoil, lids on containers.
[56:01]: Pregnant woman shouldn’t be eating ham unless they’ve cooked it or it’s canned ham.
[56:16]: If the buffet has been sitting out for under 2 hours, it can be eaten.
[56:30]: Pregnant women shouldn’t eat from charcuterie boards as they contain food that should be avoided.
[56:40]: Only eat off the seafood platter if you cooked it.
[56:45]: Kombucha is safe. Yoghurt is safe. Sauerkraut is safe. Salami is not safe.
[57:14]: Don’t drink fresh juice from a juice bar if you’re pregnant.
[57:24]: Most frozen berries are tested for Hepatitis A. If you must use berries, use pineapple juice or orange juice and make a smoothie or fruit salad. You could wash your strawberries with boiling water.
[59:14]: There are 2 different date codes on food. ‘Use by’ is a food safety reason and shouldn’t be eaten after this date. ‘Best before’ means food quality.
[1:00:46]: Smelling meat will help determine food quality but not food safety.
[1:01:14]: If food has mould that isn’t supposed to, throw it away. In bread, the other end of the loaf generally is safe to eat.
The top 3 mistakes EVERYBODY makes in their pregnancy and WHY they cause you overwhelm you don’t need
Our expert tips to get the best out of your healthcare team to set you up for success
Our 4 step MAMA framework to help reduce the overwhelm
In this class you will learn:
We work and live on Wadawarrung land. We acknowledge the Elders, past present and emerging. We also acknowledge the rich birthing history of aboriginal women and the connection to country that this has been and always will be.
We have 15+ years of running a busy obstetric practice, helping more than 4000 babies to enter this big beautiful world. We live and breathe babies and we are here to help you become MAMA.